Strewth it’s hot!

4 Feb

“It’s hot today isn’t it?” says almost everyone we meet.  Yes, it is hot.  In the high thirties most afternoons.  We wanted to escape the cold, pasty, dull, British winter and we’ve certainly managed that.

We are all permanently covered in a sheen of sweat, it sits in beads on our upper lips, pools in the small of our backs.  Hair on the back of our necks feels like a thick woollen blanket and clothes are damp when they get stripped off small bodies.

Our stylish, light-filled apartment above a junk shop, in not-quite-gentrified Glebe, is an oven.  It’s not airconditioned and only has windows at the front, so there’s no chance of a through draft.  Water comes out of the tap as hot as bathwater and has to go into the freezer to become palatable.  We sit in front of fans, like seals basking fatly on the beach, grateful for the small relief they offer.  Sleeping is particularly hard and we’re having nightly battles with overheated, overtired children, who flail and thrash in their sweaty beds, trying and failing to get comfortable.

It’s kind of reassuring that the locals talk about it so much.  We’re not just wimpy poms, who’s cold blood isn’t cut out for proper Aussie weather.  It’s properly hot.

We’ve worked out coping strategies.  We seek out watery entertainment every day, whether it’s a swim in the stunning olympic pool under the Harbour Bridge, a play in the water feature at the zoo’s farm or jumping in the waves at Bondi with the beautiful people.   Hats get doused in water as a primitive form of on the road airconditioning and after swimming, we keep our wet togs on under our clothes.  We seek out airconditioning like bloodhounds hunting a particularly smelly prey, and punctuate our days with meals in food courts and trips to modern museums.

When we’re out, we seek shade at all times, even a tiny patch is better than nothing.  Stepping into the sun is like walking through the doors of a furnace, as hot wind blasts your face and the ground burns your feet through flimsy thongs, skin so hot you can almost hear it sizzling.

I spent last winter dreaming of heat, as I shivered beneath a multitude of layers.  My feet weren’t properly warm from November to March.   Perhaps you should be careful what you wish for.


7 Responses to “Strewth it’s hot!”

  1. Rachel 05/02/2011 at 7:35 am #

    Tip for the sleeps; get yourselves a hot water bottle each (bear with me) fill with water and put in fridge whilst out for the day. Then put in beds an hour or so before bedtime. It works!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/02/2011 at 4:59 am #

      That actually sounds like a very good tip. I wonder if you can buy hot water bottles in Darwin?!

  2. Emma 05/02/2011 at 8:37 am #

    Thank you for reminding me to stop moaning how cold I am, I’ve been wearing several layers for days and still being cold – my hands and feet have been freezing for ages now…but it won’t be long until our temperatures are back in the 30s and 40s and I’ll be moaning about that instead! How quickly we forget 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/02/2011 at 5:00 am #

      We do forget very quickly indeed!

  3. Modern Dilemma 06/02/2011 at 9:59 am #

    Hello Wallops! Hope you had a fabulous birthday MrsW! How tough to be without air con in the flat (which sounds perfect- GLEEbooks! Love it!), I feel your pain as we had an odd night when it broke down & it was foul. The search for shade & aircon never occurred to me until we lived in the tropics but it quickly becomes the norm bit like us Brits timing trips out before it rains (like today)

    Enjoy that warmth my lovely

    MD xx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/02/2011 at 5:00 am #

      I am enjoying the heat really. I keep reminding myself that it’s not a bad place to spend February!

  4. JallieDaddy 13/02/2011 at 7:56 am #

    1 of the main reasons I prefer NZ to Oz – too hot!

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